The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Drizzly weather can’t dampen Labor Day picnic

The union hosted event was a hit despite mucky conditions

Coming on the heels of a weekend replete in sunny skies and balmy temperatures, one might be forgiven for expecting that a picnic on a blustery Monday might be poorly attended.

But you’d be wrong for guessing that.

The Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day Picnic, held at Savviko Park, was well-attended with several hundred people. The picnic, featuring food and live music, went on despite weather and temperatures sharply departed from the idyllic weather of the weekend.

The High 5s, a Juneau band, perform during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The High 5s, a Juneau band, perform during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

“We’ve changed up the venue. Not a lot of speeches, more family time,” JCLC president Nadine Lefebvre said. “This is our opportunity to give back.”

She added, “We want the people to know who works in their town. We are those people. We aren’t strangers.”

Rodney Hesson, member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was manning the grill on Monday. He’s served ribs at the picnic for seven years now, in addition to hold leadership positions within a number of labor organizations.

“We’ve got carpenters and laborers, plumbers and operators here,” Hesson said.

The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The picnic, which has taken place more than a decade, is sponsored entirely by the JCLC buying food from local sources, and manned by volunteers from local labor groups. More than 15 unions were represented by two dozen volunteers this year, Lefebvre said.

Even the music, provided by local band the High 5s, were in on the act. Most of the band are union members, said Hesson.

An enthusiastic picnicker eyes a cheeseburger during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

An enthusiastic picnicker eyes a cheeseburger during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Current and prospective Assembly and Board of Education members also came out to grab a bite to eat and relax, taking the opportunity to talk to folks as municipal elections bear down on Juneau. Elections to fill seats on the Assembly and the Board of Education will occur Oct. 1.

Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, running for re-election in District 1, joked that the Assembly members needed to keep moving or else they tended to congregate.

“We break up every time we get in a group of three,” Hughes-Skandijs said. Assembly members Carole Triem and Wade Bryson, also running for re-election, and Martin Stepetin and Deedie Sorenson, running for Board of Education, were also present.

“It’s important to participate in the democratic process,” Lefebvre said. “Please remember to vote!”

Rodney Hesson, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, makes ribs during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Rodney Hesson, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, makes ribs during the Juneau Central Labor Council’s annual Labor Day picnic at Savikko Park, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Central Labor Council held its annual Labor Day picnic for Juneau residents at Savikko Park, Sept. 2, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 523-2271 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


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